May 24, 2011

What to do with Cardboard Boxes?

So I’m all moved in and mostly unpacked. What to do with all those cardboard boxes?

If you really just want them gone, flatten them and put them out curbside on your regular pickup day (check with your local hauler for any size restrictions)

But that's no fun!

*Let your kids at them! Boxes make great rocket ships, trains, race cars, buses, and forts. Make a puppet theater! Make a lemonade stand!

*Use them to haul all your extra stuff to your favorite charity resale shop!

*Make furniture

*Use the boxes to haul your non-curbside recyclables and household hazardous waste to an appropriate facility, such as Metro’s garbage and recycling transfer stations.

*U-Haul has a “Customer Connect” program to help connect people looking to sell, buy or giveaway cardboard boxes. Some locations have a “leave a box, take a box” area. I haven’t had much luck with this in the past, but it’s worth checking into. U-Haul will also buy back any unused boxes purchased from their stores. Just take them back along with your receipt. I had to do this because I bought a pack of the wrong size boxes. The guys at the store were fabulous.

*Make a cardboard box oven

* Make a cardboard guitar!

I used almost all of mine in the garden. We’ve been working on building raised beds in the front yard, reducing the grassy area and increasing the fruit & vegetable garden. One way to kill the grass under the raised beds is to put layers of newspaper or cardboard down before piling the dirt inside. If we’d been working on the raised beds in fall or winter, I’d put the cardboard down, dump the dirt on top, and just leave it be. But we’re working on this in late spring/early summer and we want to plant soon, and because we can only work on the garden about one or two days a week, we put cardboard under the boxes only until we can get the truckloads of dirt transported to the house and we know we’re going to fill all the boxes. At that point, we’ve been taking the cardboard back out and lining the boxes with newspaper instead. Yes, it sounds like a lot of double-work, but even two or three weeks has been helping to smother the grass until we can get the dirt into the boxes. We’re also laying down hazelnut shells for pathways between the boxes. Again, we’re putting down cardboard first, only we’re leaving that underneath the shells, as we’re not planting anything there. The cardboard will eventually decompose, and hopefully by then the grass will mostly have been killed off. Yes, it will come back, but more slowly, and we’ll have a chance to keep up with pulling it out.

Front yard


  1. Thanks for sharing ideas to recycle boxes. This is the uniqueness of these boxes that these can be recycled and can be used in several ways.

  2. I ended up using strips of boxes for mulch when our kitchen cabinets were installed--but it was more complex than I realized as I discuss:

  3. I Wilkerson - thanks for sharing that!

  4. I must say, aside from the garden use, it appears I'm pretty good at recycling cardboard. I did put a thick layer of newspaper down last season before "building" the mound.

    I also use cardboard when making paper mache. I love the "texture" it brings.

    Thanks for sharing...

  5. Great info!! Cardboard cartons boxes are the first choice of all the packaging supplies when it comes to transportation of lot of items and product safety from one destination to another. These packing boxes are cost effective, durable and reliable for shipment of all kinds of products. Thanks…..